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By Kellene Bishop

cheese-wax-controversyIt’s interesting what a seemingly innocuous sounding sentence can do.  Apparently the phrase “you can wax your own cheese and store it” is a vile enough claim to cause some to turn on their evil buttons. Oh the controversy. But the problem is that the misinformed cheese wax controversy is causing some to not have their favorite food group in stock in the event of an emergency. No cheese? That’s practically against my religion. I’d rather be hung by my toes and pummeled with an organic carrot than be forced to survive without chocolate and cheese. So, I consider it my duty to share the sound reasons as to why I’m completely comfortable waxing and storing my own cheese.

Sure as shootin’, if you e-mail or question someone at your local extension office or the USDA they will give you the canned statement that the preservation of dairy products without refrigeration is not recommend and may be harmful to your health. However, as in all government and bureaucratic agencies, if you ask enough people, you’ll find conflicting information. The sanctity of storing cheese without refrigeration is no exception. Not only have I found several government and educational entities which agree that hard cheeses do not require refrigeration, but the history books are replete with examples of cheesemakers, restaurateurs, and homemakers doing without the refrigeration of their cheeses long before and after the 1940’s when refrigeration became more widely accepted.

Before union health inspectors swept through the streets of New York City, no self-respecting Italian would ever refrigerate their freshly made mozzarella cheese. In fact, there are still a handful of devout artists who refuse to do so. In spite of today’s advanced technologies, the shop windows in Poland and France are still dotted with a beautiful range of cheeses hanging from the ceiling, tied with cotton string, and snugly wrapped in cheesecloth and wax. Cheese artists will tell you that the masterpiece taste of cheese lies in the aging process, the quality of molds, starters, fermentation, and brining. Refrigeration merely inhibits these agents from developing—without which the taste buds of any cheese aficionado are offended. But alas, mass production has caused the health departments to step in and ensure that no consumer contracts a deadly foodborne illness—specifically botulism poisoning. Yup. Every year the USDA spends hundreds of million of tax dollars so that they can prevent those 160 cases of botulism which occur about every 10 years—103 of them in Alaska, due to the fermented meat eating habits of the Alaska Natives there.   

It’s interesting to note that after a solid week of research on the internet and in the library, I only found one case in which any persons contacted botulism from “cheese.” And in this particular instance (1951) it was actually a commercially canned cheese sauce that was the perpetrator. Yet for some reason, we are still strongly cautioned against waxing cheese and preserving it. Adding insult to injury, (literally) I get to tolerate the ridiculous e-mails from some, accusing me of being some kind of a fascist because I’m advocating that folks wax and store their own cheese. Such accusations are ostensibly based on scientific research. But my research begs the question, “What kind of science is this?” If I tried to use one case in 1951 as the basis of a 6th grade report on “the dangers of waxing your own cheese” I’d surely get an F grade. We’ve had thousands of individuals who’ve been able to reverse their cancer symptoms with vitamin B-12, and yet that’s not considered to be enough scientific evidence to promote such a valuable and non-invasive treatment for our American citizens. So, I’m thinking that one 11-ounce can of tainted commercially processed cheese sauce is certainly not sufficient scientific evidence to say that waxing my own cheese is bad for me—especially in light of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have joyfully indulged in cheese preserved this way for generations, in all types of weather, all over the world.

Now, making it perfectly clear that I don’t put much stock in something that the USDA says, common sense and an understanding of botulism should cause any cheese waxer to take certain precautions. So I’m going to give you some additional guidelines in order to prevent you from getting sick. (Cowardly useless disclaimer: Wax and consume waxed cheese at your own risk. There. Now my attorney will be happy.)

Only Wax Hard Cheeses:

Fresh Parmesan Cheese on Pasta. Photo c/o foodwinelove.com

Fresh Parmesan Cheese on Pasta. Photo c/o foodwinelove.com

The less moisture you have in your cheeses, the better they are for waxing. The cheese wax controversy is fed by individuals attempting to wax any kind of cheese. But the hard cheeses are the only kind that should be stored this way. The cheeses that I wax are Parmigiano-Reggiano, cheddar, Swiss, Romano, Gruyere, and Colby. In order to eliminate a problem of moisture coming from the inside of your cheese and causing bacteria, select cheeses to wax that aren’t more than 40% moisture. These cheeses will typically continue to age and get sharper in taste, but I think these kinds of cheeses taste better the sharper they get. I LOVE Gruyere on potatoes, Colby paired with chicken, and Swiss paired with pork, Romano paired with risotto, and Parmesan paired with pasta. The sharper the better. Yum. In my extensive research I found several extension services and university instructions which specifically stated that hard cheeses did NOT require refrigeration such as Purdue, Mississippi State University, and the FDA. The key to this being the case is the hardness of the cheese—meaning the lack of moisture. 

I also interviewed 3 professional cheesemakers over this past week. All of them were of the same opinion and experience that they regularly store the hard cheeses waxed for 2 years or more. Even the cheese aging process requires that cheese be stored at cool room temperatures—not refrigeration.

Waxing Considerations:

  • Part of the cheese wax controversy comes with the problem of using the wrong kind of wax. When it comes to the science of waxing your cheese, I can’t say it strongly enough. The only wax you should use is cheese wax. Please do not use paraffin wax. While the cheese wax actually melts at lower temperatures than paraffin, it can ultimately (and safely) reach a higher temperature than paraffin. You want this in order to prevent any bacteria from growing on the outside. So be sure your wax is hot enough. Germs are killed at 180 degrees, so heat up your wax to 200 degrees so that when the temperature is dropped when you put it on the cheese, you still are applying wax that is 180 degrees or more. (Don’t heat the wax hotter than 210 degrees F. After heating my wax sufficiently, I turn off the heat source completely.)
  • Cheese wax is also more pliable than paraffin. Whatever position you put your cheese in when you store it, gravity will come into play and readjust it a bit. Thus you want a wax that will move with it. Paraffin wax will not do that. Cheese wax also dries faster than paraffin, making your task less time consuming and giving less opportunity for moisture to develop during the waxing process. 
  • In view of the gravity issue I’ve already mentioned, it’s also smart to wax smaller sections of cheese instead of heavy ones in which the weight will cause a greater shift in the position of the cheese. (Since most of my recipes call for 1 to 2 cups of shredded cheese, I like to wax nothing bigger than 16 ounces of cheese.)
  • Use food handling gloves on your hands when you wax the cheese. The oils from your hands will affect how the wax adheres to the cheese. With your bare hands it’s also easy to add germs to your cheese.
  • Red Cheese Wax

    Red Cheese Wax

    Next, the color of wax doesn’t matter. (Some crazy visually impaired person must have started that particular cheese wax controversy :)) The color of the wax is really only symbolic to the commercial cheese industry in terms of how long a cheese has aged. However, I prefer to always use the red or the black wax since it will allow less light into the cheese.

  • Prior to putting your cheese in the wax, or brushing it, be sure to pat the cheese completely dry. You don’t want to see any moisture on it at all. This is part of the reason why I’m adamantly against folks freezing their cheese before or after waxing it. If you freeze it and then put hot wax on it, you are forcing an expansion and condensation process. The same happens if you freeze it after waxing it. You don’t want any expansion going on. Let it sit out to get to room temperature prior to waxing it.
  • If you have trouble getting your wax to adhere to the cheese, then consider wrapping the cheese first in real cheesecloth material. I apply just a little bit of wax with the brush in order to keep the cheesecloth in place prior to dipping it. (For applying wax on your cheese, I don’t recommend using cheap cheesecloth from the grocery store. It barely qualifies as cheesecloth. What you want is a bit thicker, more muslin type. I recommend getting the cheesecloth from a dairy farmer, or a cheesemaking supply retailer on the internet.)
  • Use several thin coats of wax instead of a couple of thick ones. I have adapted to dipping my cheese in the wax 3 separate times and then I brush on the last coat, for a total of 4 coats. It’s key to use the boar’s hair brush, because that will give you the most even and smooth coat of wax. You can brush all of your coats of wax on if you’d like, but it takes longer and it requires more wax. (The good news is though that you can reuse your cheese wax. Just peel it, clean it with soap and water, and then you can re-melt it and use it again. I even save my “Bonne Bell” cheese wax and use it.)
  • When you dip the cheese in the wax, hold the piece above the wax for a full 90 seconds to dry after you’ve dipped it; before dipping in another portion of the cheese. If you lay it down to cool/dry, then you run the risk of a crack or crevice to be created while the wax is cooling. So yes, my arms get tired sometimes, but I’d rather be sure that I’ve done the waxing process right. Also, don’t allow the cheese to sit in the wax when you dip it for longer than 5 seconds. You will run the risk of melting the cheese if you expose it to that heat for that long. (Yes, this is a bit of a tricky dance sometimes.)

Storing Considerations:

The whole point of waxing your cheese is so you don’t have to take up valuable refrigeration space, and so you can still have REAL cheese in the event of a prolonged power outage scenario. It’s no secret that cheese has been around a LONG time—a lot longer than refrigeration. I assure you cheese was not discovered during the Ice Age. In the Roman Empire, cheese had become a major import/export business by 400 B.C. It doesn’t take a paleontologist to confirm that there wasn’t any refrigeration available back then. The Dutch actually created waxing and brining (salting) in order to extend the shelf-life of hard cheeses. I always picture Caesar indulging in cheese whenever he got stressed. 🙂 http://www.publichealthmdc.com/environmental/food/documents/cheese.pdf

Nothing much has changed since then when it comes to storing cheese safely. The key lies in the light permeation and the temperature of your cheese. A non-clear wax used on your cheese can take care of the light issue. Storing your cheese out of direct sunlight, away from heat, and in a cool area takes care of the temperature issue. In fact, when cheese is aged by professional cheesemakers, it’s kept in temperatures ranging between 55-70 degrees F. In the Balkans, for instance, where the climate is warmer, the cheese is stored regularly at 70 degrees F. The storing of cheese at these temperatures occurs for several weeks or months during the aging process, depending on the type of cheese being made. If you don’t have a home which permits you to store your cheese regularly at this temperature range, then I don’t recommend that you try this route of cheese preservation.  

Store, Air, and Rotate:

Cheesecloth photo c/o surlatable.com

Cheesecloth photo c/o surlatable.com

Pick the coolest area of your home to store your cheese in. I recommend either putting the cheese in a cheesecloth (the cheap stuff is OK for this purpose) and then hang it on the ceiling, or to place your waxed cheese in a multi-tiered hanging wire basket trio (like the ones people store their fruits/vegetables in their kitchens.) Cheese is made with an active culture. Thus you want it to be able to “breathe.” I don’t have problems with rodents getting into mine this way. But if you do have a rodent problem, I recommend to keep the waxed cheese in large Mason jars with some holes punched on the top lid for breathing. It’s also recommended to change the position of your cheese every 4 weeks. As I said before, cheese will be affected by gravity. So, change the position so that it doesn’t “move” so much that it cracks the wax and to prevent the moisture from settling in your cheese. And as with EVERY other thing that you store in your food storage, be sure to rotate your cheese and use it as well. 

Some good news for you to know, is that if your cheese does start to crack for some reason, you can simply rewax that area. If you see some mold developing, simply cut off the mold, about an inch deeper than you see it, and rewax that area. The good news is that no, you have not ruined an entire block of cheese. 🙂

Wisconsin Cheese photo c/o explorewisconsin.com

Wisconsin Cheese photo c/o explorewisconsin.com

On a final note, I think it’s interesting to note that if you were to go to the grocery aisles in the UK, you would not find your cheese in a refrigerated section. (The same goes for eggs and butter as well.) Believe it or not, here in the U.S. I’ve even found guidelines for retailers from the Public Health Dept. of Wisconsin—a state that definitely knows its cheese in which they share a similar sentiment. In their materials for grocers they specifically say that hard cheeses do NOT require refrigeration when on display. Ironically, my research also benefited from one of the very sources which one of my nemesis referred to when accusing me of the high crimes of cheese waxing. Even the local Utah Valley University Extension offices shared this with me in an e-mail:

A few cheeses based on their dryness, fermentation, and a few other factors are safe to store at room temperature. When these cheeses are stored that way, they can develop mold on the surface. Waxing the surface inhibits that mold.

Naturally, he wouldn’t tell me which cheeses he believed would benefit from waxing. But then again, I doubt he intended to help my research in this case either.

All in all, I hope that sharing some of this research on the cheese wax controversy and more specific tips will help you satisfy your desire for cheese in any circumstance.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

I'm a Daring Cook!

I'm a Daring Cook!

My confession is not that I’m a good cook. The confession is that I’m a bit daring in my cooking, in that I’m not afraid to try new things and new recipes. I can usually read through a recipe and determine whether or not it will be good, and even what to add or subtract from it prior to making it. In the past I’ve even ventured to cook things on the fly, even when it was for a large gathering. I started this somewhat dangerous habit on the menu of a girlfriend’s wedding reception over 12 years ago. I still remember how amazingly well the Swiss cheese fondue turned out by my combining a few recipes. All was well. The food was great. I felt I could trust my culinary instincts and I’ve done so ever since. Until yesterday…

This is where the confession comes in. Yesterday I taught a solar oven cooking class for a kitchen store. To be honest, I was kind of bored with the same old recipes I’d been using. I had recently received a new cookbook in the mail from Amazon that was supposed to be specifically for solar oven cooking. It was the only book I saw on Amazon dedicated specifically to solar oven cooking recipes. I saw a couple things they did a bit differently than I would, but I figured that the recipes were safe. To my horror, I was soooo wrong. And what’s worse is that I used these sweet ladies in the class as guinea pigs! The bread I made was tender, thanks to the solar oven, but just downright uneventful, and perhaps even painful to eat as a result. The enchilada recipe could not have been more bland. While I usually play my group recipes down on the less-spicy side of things in order to not offend a sensitive palate, I have to say that the taste of this recipe was just plain torture. Boy howdy, was I embarrassed!

solar-powered-ovenI decided that I didn’t like getting my butt kicked by some amateurish cook/author. So, considering I have another solar oven class to teach tonight, I decided to try the recipes again, this time letting my instincts kick in and make them worthy of the Preparedness Pro name. I’m happy to say that I managed to do that today. In light of the fact that some of you are taking the Preparedness Pro food challenge this month and some are also taking the Solar Oven Challenge of cooking for 2 days in their solar oven alone, I decided to share my redeemed recipes with you. Not only do I hope you enjoy them, but at least this time I can be assured that you won’t hate them. 🙂 Enjoy! Oh, and for those of you who attended the class yesterday, I’m SO sorry that the food was less than stellar. If you come tonight at Macey’s in Orem, at 7 p.m., I’m sure I’ll make it up to you. 🙂

Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Divine Ms. Chicken Casserole

2 T. butter

¼ C. white flour

1 ½ C. chicken broth

½ C. plain yogurt

1 (3 oz.) block of cream cheese, cut into about 5 pieces

1 t. of cumin

1 t. black pepper

½ t. garlic powder

1 C. of green enchilada sauce

1 small can of diced green chilies—heat of chilies is dependent on your taste buds

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch strips

3 C. of cooked and shredded chicken

1 small can of sliced olives

1 ½ C. of grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens only

Slices of fresh avocado for garnish

Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly until bubbly. Add the broth and increase heat to high. Add the cream cheese, cumin, pepper, yogurt. Stir with a whisk until hot, but not boiling. Add the enchilada sauce and green chilies, continuing to whisk.

Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan or small round Graniteware pan with about a third of the sauce. Sprinkle half of the tortilla strips over the sauce, then layer with the chicken, olives, and all but ½ C of the cheese. Then add another third of the sauce. Top with the remaining tortilla strips, sauce, and then cheese.

Cover with the pan lid or a dark, moist towel and bake at about 300 to 350 F degrees for 1 to 2 hours in the solar oven, until the cheese has melted. Serve with sprinkled scallions and sliced avocado. Yum! Yields 6 servings.

Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread

1 large onion, finely diced

3 C. Bisquick

1 egg

1 ¼ C. buttermilk

1 T. dried dill

2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

Scant dash of salt

In a large bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk until well blended. Stir in the baking mix and mix until completely moistened. Stir in the dill, onions, and 2/3  of the cheese.

Lightly oil a dark 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover and cook in the solar oven (about 300 degrees) about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(Note: This is a dense bread, not light and fluffy. It also makes for great muffins. Just cook a little bit less time.)

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake

Since we have previously published the delectable Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake, click here for the recipe!

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

The Agriculture Department is raising prices on your dairy products. (How they have the authority to do this is beyond me, but for now, it is what it is.)

breaking-news-milk-cows-istock000003721058Farmers claim that it costs more to make milk than they get to sell it. Guess what that means? Can you say milk shortage?? In June of this year, The National Milk Producers Federation said they would PAY farmers to slaughter diary cows in order to manipulate the prices higher based on “supply and demand.” (Despicable, I know.)

Michael Swanson, chief economist at Wells Fargo, told Bloomberg, “The milk price remains well below the total cost of production.”

Cheese is expected to increase in price SIGNIFICANTLY as is butter. What does this mean to you? Start buying cheese and butter while you can afford it, and then wax or can it so that you can have it on hand!  

breaking-news-challenge-butterBy the way, on the internet you’ll find .50 cent off Challenge Butter coupons, $1.00 off coupon of any two pounds of cheese, plus a .75 cents off coupon of a gallon of milk. (There’s also a .75 cents off of any kind of yogurt.)

To capitalize on these coupons, go to coupons.com. If these offers don’t work for your zip code, enter in 84097. You may also want to use zip code 19542.  Albertson’s has a double coupon out this week making your cheese, butter, yogurt, and milk VERY affordable. Limit is printing 2 coupon per computer.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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I thought I’d give you a break today from all of the preparedness “thinking.”  So today I’m simply providing you with two yummy recipes – Spam Friend Rice and Mexi-Cincy Chili – that you can easily make from what’s in your cupboards right now.  Hopefully, knowing that you can make use of what you’ve got on hand (or can at least easily have on hand) will lessen any anxiety you may have in surviving a disruption to your regular way of life.   

Spam Fried Rice

This recipe is an ideal use of Spam, the meat that seems to store as long as a Twinkie.  And it’s an easy “dump” kind of recipe.  Don’t shy away from this recipe just because it has Spam in it.  If you don’t tell anyone, I’m certain they will never crinkle their nose to the Spam notion. J

Note: If you elect to make it as a non-food storage meal, you can use 8 to 10 ounces of boneless, diced pork chops and add a couple of stalks of sliced green onions (white and green portion) and use frozen peas instead. 

 

As a food-storage meal, you can also substitute the Spam for canned chicken or canned baby shrimp too, if you prefer.

1 12 oz can of Spam, cut into small square pieces
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 package (6.2 oz.) of Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice flavor (The store brands work just as well for this recipe) 2 cups of water
1 can of peas – drained

Soy sauce for serving (optional)  
  • Place the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.  And heat it over medium-high heat.  Add the Spam pieces and cook, stirring until the Spam is browned a bit, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the Rice-a-Roni including the seasoning contents.  Pour in 2 cups of water and stir to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Let the mixture come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Let simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add the peas and warm a bit longer, 3-5 minutes.  Serve at once with soy sauce as desired. 

Fuel conservation note: If you merely heat up the pan enough to bring the water to boiling, you needn’t continue to cook it on your fuel source.  You can merely let the dish set for a while (about 30 – 45 minutes) and let it naturally absorb the water.  The Spam is safe to eat whether it’s heated or not.

Mexi-Cincy Chili

This “chili” dish is actually served on top of cooked spaghetti.  It’s commonly served this way in Cincinnati, OH.  The chocolate ingredient is a take-off of Mexican mole’ cooking.  It is often served with black beans instead of or in addition to beef, and is usually accompanied by shredded cheddar cheese on top.  If you don’t have real cheese on hand in your food storage, you can also use Velveeta on top for serving.

cincy-chili21 can of canned beef (about 16 ounces)

1 tablespoon of granulated onion

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 cans of diced tomatoes. (You can use stewed tomatoes as well)

1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

1 cup of water

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of ground allspice

8 – 10 oz. of cooked and drained spaghetti

  • Sautee the beef, onion and garlic in your intended cooking pan (pressure cooker or Dutch oven).  Cook and stir with a wooden spoon to break up the lumps and until the beef is heated through (about 4-5 minutes).  Add the tomatoes and their liquid, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, cinnamon, cocoa, and all spice.  If you’re cooking this in a Dutch oven, simply cook it low and slow for about 8 hours stirring occasionally. 
  • If you’re cooking this in a pressure cooker, cover and bring the pressure cooker to low pressure.  Cook for about 30 minutes for maximum flavor.  You can use the quick release method when the time is up.
  • Top the spaghetti with your cooked mixture and enjoy!

Be Safe and Be Prepared—Kellene

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

 

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cheese-variety2

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Well, at least those of us who are addicted to cheese anyway. 

  • Can you name at least 10 different kinds of cheese that you love?
  • Do you believe that cheese should be its own food group?
  • Are you helpless to abide by your diet unless it involves huge amounts of melted cheese?

Then this article is for you!

 

cheese-fruit-plateSo picture this.  It’s a bona fide emergency survival situation.  You are holed up on your home and living off of the emergency preparedness supplies you stored.  And you’ve got one heck of a hankering for some yummy melted cheese.  But you’re just not in the mood for the Velveeta, that nasty powdered stuff, or the “squirt” kind of cheese.  You want a good solid bite of a yummy Parmesan, or Swiss, or a sharp cheddar.  (I’m making myself drool even as I write this.)  But hey, cheese doesn’t store for a very long time, right?  Well, in this case, I’m happy to tell you that you’re wrong.  And if you’re a true cheese addict, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’re wrong for once, right?

 

cheese-wax-goudaSo here’s the good news.  You CAN have your favorite cheese on hand, even in an emergency, and even though no stores are open and you have no access to electricity.  All you have to do is buy the hard blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them  stored for up to the next 25 years.  Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in.  Simply use a combination of dipping and brushing with a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish.  Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature.  Sure, it will continue to age.  But it sure won’t get moldy!  (And even if it does in parts, you can simply cut off that part, and re-wax over it.) Be sure that you select block sizes of cheese that you and your family can easily consume within a 3 to 5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.

 

 

A couple of tips you should know though.

  1. cheeseclothDon’t use paraffin wax.  It tends to crack.  Cheese wax warms slower and heats to a higher temperature and thus plies better to your cheese shapes and sizes.  Cheese wax is also less crumbly and you can use less of it than paraffin. Remember, it’s reusable too!
  2. I have yet to find a hard cheese that I can’t wax.  So long as it’s hard enough to be in a solid block, you can wax it.
  3. You don’t need cheesecloth, but if you desire to use it prior to your wax layers, it may be helpful getting the wax off.  I haven’t had any problems without it though.
  4. It’s best to melt the cheese wax in a double boiler as opposed to direct heat. Any pan you use to melt your cheesewax in will be your designated cheese wax pan. They are impossible to get clean afterwards. So be forewarned.
  5. cheese-wax-double-broilers1The less you handle the cheese with your hands the better. Use food handling gloves.
  6. Dip the cheese in for about 5 seconds, then bring it out and HOLD it there for about 90 seconds. Do 3 layers of dipping and then one layer of brushing.  (Using the natural boar’s hair brush)  The reason why you want to use this kind of brush specifically is because other brushes will apply the cheese wax too thick, or with crevices, etc.  This kind of brush is perfect for cheese waxing.
  7. You don’t need to use food-grade labels for your cheese, however, it’s smart to use a label on the outside of your cheese just prior to the last wax layer.  That way you don’t have to worry about it falling off.  Be sure to label not only the kind of cheese it is, but when it was waxed as well.
  8. cheese-wax-brushDon’t store your waxed cheese in additional containers.  Just stack them on top of like cheeses and let them breathe.  I like to hang them from the ceiling in a “fishing net” kind of contraption.
  9. Be sure to check for pockets or crevices that didn’t get sealed.  Four total thin layers of wax is a good practice.  There’s no need to do more coats than that.
  10. The cheese surface should be clean and dry prior to waxing.
  11. If your 2nd and 3rd coats are applied while the prior coat is still just a bit warm you will get a better adhesion.
  12. Cheese wax can be re-used several times.  You can simply wash it in warm water, let it dry and then re-melt it.  So when you remove cheese wax from your cheeses, you can simply reheat and reapply the wax.  Simply heat the cheese wax to about 200 degrees F.  This will also ensure that you’re not transferring any bacteria or unnecessary moisture to your new cheese–even when you’re putting it on your cheese which is cooler.
  13. You do not need to filter the cheese wax after you melt it.  So don’t worry about that step.
  14. Your first coat will have some unevenness to it.  Don’t worry.  The 2nd and 3rd coat will even it out just fine.
  15. Cheese will respond to gravity. So using cheesewax vs. paraffin is important as it’s more pliable. I periodically turn my cheese in view of the gravitational pull.

cheese-wax-waxCheese wax can be found multiple places online or in your local health food stores.  I also recommend that you use red or black cheesewax as it will prevent more light from getting int. You should also have no problem finding a boar bristle brush either.  

 

Once you get the hang of this cheese waxing stuff you can progress to making your own cheese from powdered milk in any flavor you decide!  Yummy!

 

Enjoy the recipe below!

 

Kristen’s Cheesy Roughin’ It Enchiladas

 

1 can of tomato soup

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 regular sized can of enchilada sauce

2 cups of canned chicken, drained

About 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

 

cheese-enchiladas2Make your sauce by combining the soups and the enchilada sauce.

 

Use enough flour or corn tortillas to line a large baking dish or Dutch oven with your enchiladas (About 12 to 15 depending on how big you stuff them).  Be sure to spray your dish with some cooking spray.

 

Lightly coat the bottom of your tortilla with the sauce.  Then add about 2 tablespoons of chicken, according to your desire.  Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese.  Then roll up your tortilla and place seam side down in the dish.  Continue until you’ve filled the dish a single layer deep.  Once you’re finished, pour the remaining sauce over the top and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.  You can add chopped black olives, black beans, rice, or even green chilies to this recipe as well. 

 

Preparedness Pro Note: If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

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